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Google Monopoly|Class Action Tossed

SAN JOSE (CN) - A federal judge dismissed, with leave to amend, a class action claiming Google monopolizes the search engine market by making secret deals with cell phone manufacturers.

Lead plaintiff Gary Feitelson claimed in May 2014 that manufacturers that want to preload Google apps such as YouTube and Google Play onto their devices must agree to make Google the default search engine on the phone.

Feitelson claimed these confidential deals "quash competition for default search engine status" for competitors such as Bing and Yahoo "before it can even begin."

Google sought dismissal in July 2014, claiming that the plaintiffs failed to state a claim, and that the Clayton Act applies only to " tangible commodities ," which Google does not offer.

U.S. District Judge Beth Freeman dismissed the case on Feb. 20, with leave to amend.

Freeman said the plaintiffs need to "more plausibly allege the relationship between [the confidential agreements] and competition in the market for handheld general search."

She gave them 21 days to amend "in order to adequately allege causal antitrust injury ... in the relevant alleged markets."

Freeman also dismissed plaintiffs' unfair competition claim, because neither of the named plaintiffs live in California.

The amended complaint must include a plaintiff from California.

Contact Arvin Temkar at [email protected]

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